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419:Combating A Festering Sore  (Posted 21st Feb, 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them. 

If Ade Ajakaiye has his way, a special court will be established solely to tackle cases of fraud especially that of Advanced Fee fraud known as 419. Ajakaiye is the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, of the Force Criminal Investigation Department. The SFU was created to fight the menace of fraudsters whose crime appears to know no boundary.

The special court in the estimation of Ajakaiye will lead to speedy trial of the country's fraud perpetrators.

Those who think that Nigeria is haven for "419" practitioners may soon change their minds as the SFU is turning on the heat. In 2000 SFU agents investigated 230 cases. 300 suspects were arrested and 25 cases were charged to court. To show the war against crime is no respecter of

Anybody a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives may be dragged to court for 419 crimes he was allegedly defrauded an American citizen of 140,000 dollars. The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution would determine the next step to be taken against the lawmaker as the SFU has referred the case to him for advice. The Federal government is backing the SFU in its determined effort to force fraudsters out of business. Advanced equipment are being provided to enable SFU agents have access to contemporary crime detection devices. Nigerian anti-fraud agents are disturbed that despite several warnings, some gullible people still fall to the cheap tricks of the fraudsters.

Ajakaiye recently told a National newspaper, "how will somebody say he has a bank account and he wants to transfer money? How will somebody tell you to give him the number of your account and you never knew this man from Adam and you oblige him?

Important Precautions

Never respond to any letter asking you to supply your account number to facilitate the transfer of stolen and embezzled money out of Nigeria. Thousands of such letters are written daily by fraudsters

Do not be taken in by the person who signed the letter - fraudsters regularly forge the signature and use the name of important Nigerians including the President and other political office holders. The government through the special anti fraud unit regularly intercepts millions of letters - but some of them escape detection

There is nothing like the exploratation of Crude Zekonica - so whenever you receive a letter asking you to invest in the exploration of Zekonia simply ignore the letter.

Unsolicited phone calls or fax messages from "top government officials" wanting to siphon money out of Nigeria should be ignored

Never have any dealings with or be involved in a business deal that has to do with the purchase of chemicals to be used to wash American dollars - there is nothing like that it is just a scam. Many individuals have paid millions of dollars, which turned out to be useless pieces of paper

Some fraudsters now route their letters through neighbouring countries so if you receive a letter from Togo, Benin Ghana asking you to send some specified amount of money, don't be taken in.

Government’s Action

Apart from setting up the Special Fraud Unit, the Presidency is also involved in the fight. Ibrahim Lame the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Financial crimes said the government was addressing the issue. A conference is also being planned to firm up plan to present a global

strategy against the crime. Also the Central Bank according to Joseph Sanusi its governor has "spent over 4 million dollars in placing warning advertisement in over 80 newspapers and magazines in 12 languages in 36 countries".

Additional Tips

Potential businessmen can contact the Nigerian embassies/high commissions in their countries of residence, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, NACCIMA or this website to verify the genuiness of any business deals.

Those who want to report cases of attempted or suspected cases of fraud can contact the following:

1. Dr. Ibrahim Lame
Senior Special Assistant
Drugs and Financial Crime
The Presidency
Aso Rock Villa
FCT, Abuja.

2. Ade Ajakaiye
Commissioner of Police
Special Fraud Unit
Force Special Investigation Department
Alagbon Lagos.

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